Hence, the IPI has disagreed with a plan to ban plastic use, IPI Head Pris Polly Lengkok stated here, Tuesday.
"At present, 25 million scavengers rely on collecting wastes, including plastic wastes, having economic value," he noted.
The IPI has called for a review of the plan, as it has the potential to create a problem, he remarked.
"The government must not issue a policy that could create a new problem. A plastic package ban will not solve the problem, but it will create a new problem," he cautioned.
Used plastic bags have an economic value of Rp500 per kilogram (kg) so far, while Rp5,000 per kg for used plastic bottles, he noted.
Plastic wastes have been recycled and reproduced into furniture, household wares, and also bottles again, among other things, he added.
"The government should not ban plastic use, as it affects the lives of several people. Instead, it should prepare a better waste management system," he suggested.
If the government is keen to prevent plastic wastes from polluting the ocean, it should provide more trash bins and landfills, he remarked.
Lengkok also pointed to a contradiction since on one hand, the government is serious about reducing plastic wastes, while on the other hand, plastic waste imports are allowed to continue.
The IPI had written a letter of protest to the regional government but had yet to receive a response. Hence, the association will send a letter to the House of Representatives, he stated.
If the government were to go ahead with the plan, the IPI would stage a rally to protest the policy, he added.
He expressed hope that the government would find a comprehensive solution to the problem of plastic waste.
Reporting by Hanni Sofia, Fardah